Built on an abandoned military base in the middle of the California’s Sonoran Desert, Slab City doesn’t have many modern amenities. No power lines or pipes carry electricity or fresh water to the city. Residents have to sort out their own system for disposing of sewage or trash.
But to those who call the community home, Slab City offers something even more important than comfort: freedom.
Becoming a resident of Slab City is an informal process. You simply show up, find a patch of land that no one else has claimed, and set up a trailer, shack, yurt, or truck.
But living in the community requires a certain degree of self-reliance.
https://allthatsinteresting.com/slab-cityThe nearest public amenities – including drinkable water – are in Niland a few miles away. Residents share a single communal shower fed by a nearby hot spring. Most people in the community rely on their own technical expertise to handle the rest.
Living in Slab City requires adhering to a certain code of behavior. While drug use is common, residents say that it’s usually confined to certain well-known areas of the camp. The most common type of crime is theft. Typically, there aren’t reports of vigilante violence in response to crime, but the community will shun people who are suspected of misbehavior.
Altogether, Slab City is as close to a self-governing commune as you’re likely to find in the U.S. The most common problem people in the community report is simple boredom, which makes sense given that they’re living in the middle of the desert.
There’s also an internet cafe that basically amounts to a tent with a wireless router inside. But residents can use the connection to download entertainment. The community sometimes comes together to watch the latest episode of Game of Thrones the night it premieres.
Art is also an important part of life in Slab City. One of the most popular attractions is Salvation Mountain, a collection of rocks covered in hundreds of thousands of gallons of latex paint and decorated with a large cross and religious messages. It’s the life’s work of one of Slab City’s most famous residents, Leonard Knight.
But for a society that has long existed on the outer edges of the law, the future looks far from certain. In 2015, the state of California considered dividing the land the community sits on and selling it to private companies. Though nothing came of the proposal, it signaled how fragile the community’s position was.
That has led many residents to worry that Slab City’s days are numbered. And with it, they see the possible end of “the last free place in America.”
If you’d like to visit Slab City, there are a number of residents who offer lodging for rent at relatively low prices. But prepare yourself for a bit of a trek, as the community sits 200 miles east of Los Angeles.
By Wyatt Redd
Source: All that is interesting